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Showing posts from October, 2011

The Sea of Fog

November is almost here and fall is slowly but surely giving way to more wintery days. Clocks have been set on winter standard time and the leaves that are still on the trees are definitely more brown than colorful by now. The fog has arrived in Switzerland and it is foggy almost every morning. Sometimes the sun doesn't come out till noon if it does at all.

Fog has been part of Swiss falls and winters for as long as I can remember. Especially in the flat part of Switzerland - an area that is also called 'Unterland' which literally means 'Underland' - the fog is known to appear almost daily.
Two Types of Fog There are basically two kinds of fog here in Switzerland:
Regular fog, that "sits" on the ground and bothers you while driving because you can't see far anymore'High fog' or 'Hochnebel' in German. This fog is more a like a solid cloud sitting a few hundred meters above the ground, preventing the sun from shining in the areas below it…

Cats in Switzerland

Last night, when I walked home a cute black and white cat came up to me and started to follow me around and meow to me. It was really cute and when I saw it had a collar I didn't think twice and started to pet it. The cat responded with loud purring.

When I started to think about how clean and neat this cat was and how its owners were obviously taking good care of it, I couldn't help but think it was a very Swiss cat: clean and neat. I also remembered the many stray cats I had seen in the streets of big cities all over the world. I realized that here in Switzerland stray cats are quite rare. In fact, most cats you can see outside are healthy house cats that are allowed to roam the fields, forests and streets.

This thought brought me back to the cats I have had myself. Some sweet and friendly, others cuddly and slobbery, some smart and some incredibly stupid. Some of them brought back mice from the fields, or birds and once even a snake.

Right now, I don't have the time or…

How to Deal with a Broken Heart the Swiss Way

Have you ever had your heart broken? I have. I must admit, I wasn't completely devastated but the feeling of rejection still left its marks on my heart. So, I tried to come up with some creative ideas in order to deal with the situation using the advantages of this beautiful country Switzerland. Here are some of my suggestions.
10 Swiss Ways to Heal a Broken Heart Eat Swiss chocolate to sweeten your days, for example Toblerone. If you are living in the motherland of chocolate you might as well make use of it. And for those few out there who don't like chocolate other sweets like Luxemburgerli or Vermicelles are a great alternative.Drink herbal tea to help you relax. Swiss  people are great at drinking herbal teas and you can buy good tea at any supermarket.Take a long train ride, preferably to Geneva or Lugano since those take several hours. You can get a day pass for all of Switzerland at the next train station and simply ride trains all day. Don't forget to bring a good …

Why the Swiss Omelette isn't a Pancake

During lunch with friends, we started to discuss different kinds of food and drink that are similar but different. For example, Pepsi Coke and Coca Cola are similar in look and ingredients but many people find they are very different in taste. Another good example would be the German 'Krapfen' and the Jewish 'Sufganyah'. Both are round jelly doughnuts filled with jam but they're still not exactly the same thing.

At some point during this conversation, we also started talking about a Swiss dish that would fit well into this list: the Swiss Omelette. In a way, this omelette is quite similar to other omelettes prepared and eaten all over the world but at the same it's very different too.
What makes the Swiss Omelette different from other omelettes? It is true that Americans and Brits also frequently prepare omelettes. Yet, their omelette is quite different from what we Swiss call an omelette. And although it can be eaten with sweet filling, a Swiss omelette is als…

How to Find a Job in Switzerland

I am privileged to have lived and worked in Switzerland for a large part of my life. Despite the complaints and troubles with the banks, the Swiss economy and with it the Swiss job market has been very stable over the last few years.

True, Switzerland has very high living expenses and some of world's most expensive cities are in Switzerland. Just try and go out and buy a cup of coffee, you'll be surprised at how expensive it is!  Thankfully, salaries are generally high and make up for the high cost of living.

High salaries are one of the reasons Switzerland is an attractive place to live and work for many people. Currently, there are over 2 million foreigners living in Switzerland and at least part of them came for work.

Now, the big question is: how can you find  a job in Switzerland that would allow you to rent an apartment or house, buy a car, go out, travel and more? With a bit extra that you can put aside for saving?
Where to find a Job in Switzerland The answer to this q…

Magenbrot, a Swiss Treat for your Stomach

Can you tell that weather has been getting colder and rainier here in Switzerland? It seems that people are generally more interested in food, especially warm and sweet food, during the wintery season. Maybe its simply that time of the year, where you are drawn to experiment in the kitchen rather than wanting to go outside and get muddy - although that can be fun too.

When it's cold outside we Swiss like to drink and eat warm stuff.  Cheese fondue and chocolate fondue are winter classics as are hot roasted chestnuts. Another popular Swiss snack or treat is Magenbrot.
What is Magenbrot? Magenbrot are square sized, chunky pieces of pastry that contain cloves, cinnamon, anise and nutmeg. It is usually sold on street fairs or Christmas markets during fall and winter time. The two biggest retail stores Coop and Migros are now also selling Magenbrot in half-kilo bags.

Supposedly, the spices used in Magenbrot are good for your tummy. This might explain the name 'Magenbrot' which …

Sweet Spaghetti Called Vermicelles

Fall is approaching fast and the leaves on the trees are starting to change colors already. There are many fun things to do during Fall in Switzerland. Most of the time, the weather is still nice and warm enough so that on a sunny day you can sit on your balcony enjoy a hot cup of coffee and something sweet.

And what would be more suitable to this fall season in Switzerland than a typical Swiss dessert like Vermicelles?
What is Vermicelles? Vermicelles is a southern Swiss speciality dessert. Like the hot marroni sold on the streets during fall and winter in Switzerland, Vermicelles are made mainly from chestnuts, with butter, sugar and Kirsch added to the mixture.


Vermicelles is sold in most supermarkets in Switzerland. It normally comes in big chunks of dough or paste that then must be pressed through a perforated sheet to create about 15 cm long "worms" of Vermicelles. This is where the dish most likely got its name from, since in Latin "vermiculi" means "w…